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. mario monti says german chancellor angela merkel doesn't want italy's center left party to win the elections this weekend. the outgoing prime minister said merkel feared a consolidation of parties from the left, especially in an election year for her. the german leader has so far refrained from commenting on the election. what does all of this mean? julia joins us now from milan. julia, i have to confess, i don't really understand what monti's point is here. >> well, you know, we have to give it a bit of context, kelly. this was in response to something berlusconi said about the possibility that mario monti had already signed an agreement with the democratic left party, the democracy party mr. bersani with the agreement with angela merkel. i don't think mario monti has hidden the fact that he's concerned about the influence, particularly the power of the union on the democratic party. if we look on the german side, the foreign minister said what they want ultimately is a party that's going to continue with the reforms, that's going to continue with the fiscal consolidation. i'm
. as for the picture over in europe, some comments from germans chancellor angela merkel about the euro saying between 130 and 140 for the u.s. dollar is normal. those are the comments being focused on this morning. a mixed bag in terms of europe and take a look at the picture in asia. the nikkei, the one to focus on, closing at a 4 1/2-year high in yesterday's session. >> fresh five-years for the s&p and dow, fresh 12 years for the nasdaq, helped in part by a renewed appetite for deal making. >> cracks in the housing picture this morning, january starts to decline 8 1/2%. toll brother earnings sharply miss earnings. >> could demand for the iphone be cooling? fox con pressuring shares this morning. >>> the rally continuing with the dow and s&p having their best day in two weeks. nasdaq closing at 12-year highs. dow less than 130 points from closing at an all-time high. guys, a lot of discussion about how it's a nominal high. but getting back to 14164 would be news. in some form or fashion, jim. >> i think that there is a level of, dare i say, excitement. in other words, we're seeing levels that we hav
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